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If you are tired of having your dog chew up your shoes, dig up your favorite plants, scratch your expensive furniture, raid the garbage bin, or whine or bark all the time, it probably just needs something constructive to do.

Dogs are very energetic animals and if they don’t find an appropriate outlet for this energy, they will resort to ways that might not go down well with their owners. Dr. Susan Nelson, a veterinarian and an assistant professor of clinical sciences at the Kansas State University says, “Dogs need an outlet to relieve their pent-up energy. A dog receiving adequate exercise will be happy and content, and won’t develop destructive behavior.”

Dogs are meant to live active lives running freely in the wild, hunting for their food, and playing with each other. Considering this fact, many dog owners just let their pooch out in the backyard or garden for a free run assuming their pet will get the exercise it needs. But dogs don’t exercise that way. Domesticated dogs need human interaction and encouragement to run about and get their daily dose of exercise.

You only need to find interesting ways to exercise with your dog. Not only will that keep your dog happy, but you’ll benefit from good health too. Here are some activities that you and your pooch can indulge in together.

Brisk Walking/Jogging/Cycling

Walking and jogging are the easiest ways to keep your dog and yourself fit. Just 30 minutes of brisk walking five times per week can help keep your dog in good shape. Start with a ten-minute walk and increase the duration gradually if your dog is old, overweight, or has any other health-related problem.

Dogs aren’t suited to running or jogging long distances at a stretch. So if you do take your pooch jogging with you, stop at regular intervals so as to not tire it out. The same goes for cycling; while you may be on wheels, your dog will be running along to keep up with you. Dogs also heat up quickly as they do not have sweat glands. You will have to keep an eye on your dog for signs that tell your pal is being over-worked.

Whether you go walking, jogging, or cycling, keep your dog on the leash. While these exercises are relatively simple, they can get quite difficult if your dog isn’t trained to walk on a leash. If you don’t want to be hauled against the sidewalk while cycling with your dog, ensure that your dog is well-trained.

Engage in Games

On days when you don’t want to go out, a little game of throw will be great to elevate your dog’s pulse. Toss a branch or a Frisbee and have your pet catch it in its mouth before the object hits the ground. Of course, this won’t do any good to you as you’ll just be sitting or standing in one place.

You can also set up a simple agility course in the backyard. Hesitant pets can be encouraged with treats. If the course involves having your pet jump from heights, make sure the ground is not too harsh for your dog’s paws. You don’t want your pooch to have sore feet. You can consider calling up a synthetic grass company to get your backyard fitted with artificial turf. Artificial grass will be easy on your dog’s paws and your dog won’t be able to dig up the grass either.

You can also take you dog to a park if your backyard isn’t big enough. Your dog might like to play with other animals at the park. Just make sure your dog has got all its vaccinations right.


Swimming is a great form of exercise not only for humans but for their furry friends too. Swimming exercises all the muscle groups in the body and is especially beneficial to people and dogs that have arthritis. The exercise also strengthens the heart and lungs, and improves endurance.

Of course, your dog needs to enjoy swimming in the first place. Also remember that not all dogs are natural swimmers. Your pooch might need some persuasion to get into the water. Never force your dog into the water. Start small by wading in shallow water. You can make use of a dog vest if required. If you have a young pup, introducing it to water as early as possible will make it a confident swimmer as it grows up.

Never leave your dog unattended in deep water. If you are swimming in a pool, train your dog to get out of the pool by using the steps or the ramp.

Dogs love the outdoors. If there’s an adventure trail you have been looking forward to hit, go ahead with your plans and take your dog along. Again, start with a shorter trail first and take to longer trails gradually.

Allow your dog to stop and sniff at things along the trail. Keep a slightly quicker pace than normal when you walk to elevate the pulse and get the exercise you and your dog need.


Before you start any rigorous training, consult your dog’s vet so you don’t end up doing more harm than good. Younger dogs could easily injure bones and ligaments from exercising too much. You need to know if your dog is ready to exercise, how much exercise is enough for it, or if it is unfit for strenuous exercise.

Rather than looking at exercising your dog as a chore, consider it to be an excuse to stay fit. Dogs can make you want to exercise by their contagious excitement. Moreover, while a gym buddy might stand you up any day, a dog will never refuse to exercise with you.


The latest PetsitUSA membership special is for Indianapolis and Phoenix!  The first two new members to email PetsitUSA from these cities will receive free membership for one year!  Membership benefits include business forms, a discount for Pet Sitters Associates and more!


The latest free membership special is for pet sitters in Boston, MA and Orange County, CA.  The first 2 pet sitters from each city to email PetsitUSA will receive a free 1-year membership!  Contact us soon!New Hi-Res Logo


Video Tutorial on Cleaning Your Cat’s Ears by AVMA

by Lori Genstein, I've Got the 'Scoop'!, LLC on July 16, 2014

in Cats, Health, Pet Health, Pets, Random Thoughts

Hello!  I’m sharing a short but informative video tutorial I thought would be helpful with cleaning your cat’s ears:

Ear care by the American Veterinary Medical Association  

The American Veterinary Medical Association states:  “Proper maintenance and regular cleaning of your cat’s ears is essential for their well being.  Dr. Julia Georgesen tells you how to clean your cat’s ears and what you need to be on the look out for when cleaning.”


  • One thing I advise differently is to use gauze when cleaning the ears, rather than cotton, to avoid any particles breaking off and remaining in the ear.   
  • When the ears are very dirty, you can pour the solution directly into the ear by holding the ear flap out, pouring the solution in, then gently squeeze and massage the base (bottom) of the ear…  but watch out, because one you let go, your kitty is going to shake, shake, shake!!!  And that’s exactly what you want, as that loosens all the wax and dirt in the ear, making it easier to clean.   
  • Most kitties and dogs do not like this… so I opt to saturate the gauze and squeeze the solution in.  It alleviates the force of it being squirted. 
  • Also, be sure the solution is not too cold!  Rolling the bottle between your hands for a few minutes or placing it in warm water really makes it more tolerable for your kitty when the solution is inserted.  Just be sure to squirt a little on the inside of your wrist to be sure it’s not too hot! 
  • If you have more than one pet, and one is sniffing the other’s ear… it is time to take a look.  An animal’s nose knows!!! 

So, how often do you clean your cat’s ears?   Do you have any special tips to help other pet parents…  please leave them in the comments.   Thanks!  Lori  : ) 

Click here to watch the video.

“HEARS” to happy cleaning and shining ears!!!  


I’ve Got the ‘Scoop’!, LLC   




This week PetsitUSA is offering 2 pet sitters in Memphis and Orlando free membership for 1 year!  You can be one of the 2 pet sitters in each city to receive the membership by emailing PetsitUSA!

Update: 1 of the free memberships from Orlando was just taken!  Only 1 left!


Pet First Aid: Ways to Learn

by Ryan on June 28, 2014

in Pet First Aid


To enjoy a bit of fresh air, play like a kid would under the bright skies, be able to quench its thirst when needed, and be free from any type of harm that could befall it – this is the ideal life for every animal. However, not all are lucky enough to have it all. Just like people are injured due to accidents and some children find themselves in not-so-desirable conditions as a result negligence, house pets and other animals similarly suffer from injuries and illnesses such as food contamination. In these events, animals are left to suffer in silence without the aid of human intervention. But this should not always be the case. People have the option to help these creatures out in the form of pet first aid. For people who are interested in pet first aid, training is now being offered by several institutions. Some of these are listed below:

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross is offering training courses throughout United States ranging from disaster preparedness, water safety and lifeguarding, babysitting, home safety, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), automated external defibrillator (AED) and pet first aid training. Courses offered by the American Red Cross are open to the youth, professionals, laymen, aquatic facilities and to those who are simply interested in the saidprograms. The pet first aid training course is available in several chapters within the country although training is limited for dogs and cats. One has the option to choose from the following programs: Cat First Aid, Dog First Aid, or Cat and Dog First Aid. The course can be completed in less than a day anywhere from 2.5 to 3.5 hours depending on the specific course selected. Courses include medicine administration, breathing and cardiac emergencies, urgent care situation management, and wound treatment to name a few. Aside from practical training courses, one will be given corresponding printed reference guides bundled into the training package. The institution’s official website also has a store where one could buy a pet first aid kit. Furthermore, the American Red Cross now has its own mobile app available for Android and iPhone users. The mobile app features instructions on how to respond to over 25 pet emergency situations.

Dogsafe Canine First Aid

Dogsafe Canine First Aid was created by Michelle Sevigny, a professional dog trainer, in order to promote canine health awareness to the community. The organization is a strong supporter to non-profit canine organizations. As implied by its name, the organization only provides training support to dog safety. This offers a total of six courses and these are: DOGSAFE® Canine First Aid – Part 1, DOGSAFE® Canine First Aid – Part 2, Operation Find Fido™ Workshop, DOGSAFE® for Puppies Workshop, DOGSAFE® Bare Bones Workshop, and DOGSAFE® Canine First Aid Part 1 Distance Education. Most of the courses can be completed within 2 to 2.5 hours except for the Canine First Aid Part 1 which needs 8 hours to complete and the Distance Education that requires at least 12 hours of coursework. When parents are enrolled, kids aged 10 years and up can be allowed to participate in said programs. The distance learning program covers the same subjects tackled in Canine First Aid Part 1, some of which include common injury prevention, response to poisoning, performing artificial respiration, and minor burn treatment. Although it’s only limited to this at this time, its creation has made dog pet care accessible in countries where pet first aid is not a common practice.

Pet Tech

Just like Dogsafe Canine First Aid, Pet Tech programs and resources are geared toward canine companions. In here, the organization is making training programs available in two different levels- the PetSaver™ Class and the Pet Tech™ Instructor Training. ThePetSaver™ Class is a combination of skill training and lecture orientation program. Some of the courses included in here are restraining and muzzling for bite prevention, rescue breathing for dog patients with heartbeats but are not breathing, choking management, and vital signs assessment. The program comes complete with a handbook. After successfully passing the 8-hour course, a certificate will be awarded to the student. In comparison, the Pet Tech™ Instructor Training is more comprehensive where training is done in three days. Aside from practical skills, instructors will be given the right tools to train other people such as pet owners the right way to care for their pets. This course is also recommended for professionals like pet retailers, veterinarian staff, pet sitting services providers, kennel operates, obedience trainer, animal shelter and pet rescue employees, EMTs fire-fighters or simply for people genuinely interested in pet care.

Walks ‘N’ Wags

Walks ‘N’ Wags was originally put up by Lisa Wagner in 2000 as a dog walking and sitting services provider. Upon becoming a Pet First Aid Instructor in 2003, this has allowed her to share her knowledge to numerous pet lovers. In 2007, Walks ‘N’ Wags was born, taking over the management of an educational Services Pet Aid Program. Today, the company is providing pet first aid training programs in several locations in Canada (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland) and in US (Washington State and Vermont). The Walks ‘N’ Wags Pet First Aid Course features a broad range of topics. Some of these include subjects such as what to include in first aid kit, head to toe assessment, animal restriction, recognizing signs and symptoms of injuries, artificial respiration and heat stroke. Aside from first aid, preventive measures are also included in the course. Although courses are claimed to be one of the best in the industry, the company does not offer standard rates. Course fees will vary based on the rates imposed by individual instructors. This too offers Distance Learning Program where one could acquire similar certification awarded to in-class students upon successfully completing the course.


A veterinarian can do wonders to an ailing pet. But accidents can happen in the strangest places at the most ungodly hours. For pets that can’t use a mobile phone to call 911 in case of health emergencies, they could easily end up immobilized or dead the next day. With the presence of human companions, this can be seen as clear form of neglect. Pets need the care of their owners and one way to show one’s love for their pets is to learn some of the basics of pet first aid. This may not be saving their lives now but pets do have a way of getting into trouble at times, making this course possibly useful in the future.


Free Membership Special!

by Ryan on June 18, 2014

in PetsitUSA News

Free membership is being offered to the first two pet sitters to email PetsitUSA in Cleveland and Detroit!  New Hi-Res LogoMembership lasts for one year and will save you $45!


Bonnie Odem Harlan, Founder of Prevent Pet Suffocation, brings awareness to pet parents in Memory of her Beloved Furry Angel, BLUE.

dorito bag

Dogs are dying daily, and it CAN happen to your beloved pet… to any of our pets!!!!

Be sure to cut the top and bottom of the bag off completely before throwing it away, and be certain snack bags are never left anywhere your pet may have access to one… not even an unaccessible location! Hide them up above in a closed cabinet or pantry, out of sight and smell.

When a dog puts their head into the bag and begins to breath, a vacuum seal is created preventing them from removing the bag.

I just received notice of the fourth doggie this week — rather, the fourth owner whom has come forward and brought the unfortunate news to Prevent Pet Suffocation’s attention, sharing their dog has died as the result of suffocating in a Frito Lays bag or similar snack bag.  Last week a dog suffocated with their head stuck in a plastic animal cracker container.  The numbers are increasing rapidly, and, most likely, there have been many other unreported deaths.

Visit Prevent Pet Suffocation’s Facebook page and read the stories… so extremely sad!  More importantly, please go to their web site and sign the petition to  have warning notices printed on the bags!!!

The original article appeared on MADMIKESAMERICA… after reading Bonnie’s heartbreaking experience, I’ve been following Prevent Pet Suffocation and helping spread awareness by sharing her story about Blue, as well as the horrific posts from many devastated pet parents, in an attempt to save other beloved pets’ lives.

Helping to keep beloved furry babies healthy and safe… and pet parents informed!


I’ve Got the ‘Scoop’!, LLC, in Palmyra